Pete Davidson says goodbye after 8 years on 'SNL': 'I never imagined this would be my life'

·4 min read
Comedian Pete Davidson said goodbye to Saturday Night Live after eight years on the program. (Photo:  Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Comedian Pete Davidson said goodbye to Saturday Night Live after eight years on the program. (Photo: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Pete Davidson bid Saturday Night Live farewell last night, marking his departure from the long-running comedy show with a heartfelt message.

The 28-year-old comic, who joined SNL in 2014, took a seat during a "Weekend Update" segment alongside Colin Jost and Michael Che to reflect on his eight years at Studio 8H.

"Hello Colin, and Che, and millions of people only watching to see if I bring up Kanye," Davidson joked, referring to girlfriend Kim Kardashian and their tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, Kanye West.

"I never imagined this would be my life. Look at me when I started here," he said, pulling up a photo of himself in the same seat at just 20 years old. "Back then I was just like a skinny kid and nobody knew what race I was. Like now, everyone knows I'm white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work. And like, look at me now. I'm aging like an old banana."

Davidson also reflected on how he landed on the show, discussing his relationship with show creator and producer Lorne Michaels. He recalled calling up Michaels when he got engaged to Ariana Grande "after dating for two weeks" back in 2018. (The pair split several months later.)

"He goes, 'Oh! Hold on for dear life,'" Davidson said, imitating Michaels. He also recalled his audition for the show, during which Michaels said, "I don't think you're right for this show. So let's screw this up together."

"And that's exactly what we did, and that's why people who don't think I deserve this job shouldn't hate me, since we have so much in common. If anything, I should inspire hope that literally anyone could be on Saturday Night Live," joked Davidson.

Closing out his appearance, Davidson spoke candidly about how grateful he is for his time on the show.

"I appreciate SNL always having my back and allowing me to work on myself and grow," said Davidson, who has been candid about his mental health and efforts to go sober over the years. "Thank you to Lorne for never giving up on me or judging me even when everyone else was, and for believing in me and allowing me to have a place I could call home with memories that will last a lifetime."

Davidson wasn't the only longtime cast member who left the show on Saturday evening. Mainstays Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney also celebrated their final episodes during the show's Season 47 finale.

Earlier on Saturday, Davidson confirmed that evening's show would be his last in an Instagram post on the account of SNL writer Dave Sirius. Accompanied by an 8-year-old video of Davidson hugging comedian Jerrod Carmichael, the post saw the King of Staten Island star looking back on his early days at the iconic late-night show.

"When I got the show I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing," Davidson wrote, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported. "I still don’t but especially back then. I wasn’t really a sketch performer I was just a stand-up. I knew I could never keep up or go toe to toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon so I was super-scared at figuring out what I could possibly bring to or do for such a historic, respected show and platform. I figured since I’m a stand-up I’ll just try my stand-up and personal bits on 'Weekend Update' as myself and I’m so glad I did. I got to share so much with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes. We were together through the good and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times."

Davidson went on to say that he owes his success to Michaels and everyone else at SNL.

"I'm so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime," he shared. "SNL is my home. I’m so happy and sad about tonight’s show."